Fisheries Areas Network

FARNET Social Inclusion Photo Competition - Winning Photos

After receiving over 100 inspiring photo submissions, eight finalists were chosen for best illustrating social inclusion in fisheries communities. With more than 1000 votes, the winning photo was chosen, determining the photo that will be used as a focal point in the next FARNET Guide following the seminar on "Social inclusion for vibrant fishing communities".

The photos are a treat for the eyes and soul. We invite everyone to take a look at how social inclusion is expressed throughout different fisheries communities.

1st place

Maria, 93 years old

This is Maria. She is 93 years old, and, for over 70 years, has been sewing fishing nets with a needle and a thread, all day, every day. Although she is bent over the fishing nets, she doesn't wear glasses and she is still able to ride a bike. Maria lives in Caorle (Venice, Italy) where she lives and works with her family, her children and her grandchildren in the fisheries sector.

Note from the photographer: “With this photo I tried to sweeten a predominantly male world and give a place for all those women, mothers, wives and daughters of fishermen who work alongside them but are often invisible.”


Photo by Cinzia Gozzo in honor of this year’s International Women’s Day






2nd place

Painting on ice

This February, many people came to the icy region surrounding Aukštaitija National Park (Lithuania) for a festival celebrating the European smelt – a species whose fishing season lasts only about one month. The fish is a very important historical dish in the region and locals eagerly wait on the daily catch, caught by fishermen who use 100-year-old ice fishing methods. The fish smells like cucumber from the sea and, when fried can be eaten like chips. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite among children! There were a lot of winter activities organized for festival but the most amazing one was when families with children came together with fishermen to paint nature themes on the snow surrounding one of the region’s 200 lakes.

Note from the photographer: “This photo is the result of the creativity of fishermen and families come together. For some families, the festival was the first time they could discover ancient exotic fishing methods. We were able to create a connection between the people and fishing traditions.”

Photo by Gedas Kukanauskas









3rd place

Seamstresses of the sea

“Las rederas” is one of the most ancient trades, but also one of the most unknown. María Teresa Costales has spent almost twenty years developing, tying, repairing and maintaining fishing nets – a craft done exclusively by hand for which there is no sewing machine to match the work of these women. Next to her, in the Port of Lastres (Asturias, Spain), is María Margalles Barros, one of the few women who will follow this tradition that, in the absence of generational change, is in danger of disappearing. The instability of this hard work has forced them to diversify their activities. Taking advantage of their skills with needles and nets, they design and sell their own crafted products.

Note from the photographer: “Under hard working conditions, the so-called seamstresses of the sea are the most neglected, the least valued, and yet indispensable.”

Photo by the Asturian Rural Development Network





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